We must have top offensive capability

In his letter “Infiltration: Fencing not the solution” (Jan 21), Air Marshal P.K. Jain (retd) has raised pertinent points about the futility of the defensive approach. An obstacle has no value if cannot be covered by fire, patrolled frequently and kept under constant observation.

Assuming that the fence will be frequently patrolled, all the infiltrators need to do is to lie, let the patrol pass and then breach the fence and infiltrate. They can even make small tunnels under the fence in Poonch and Rajauri sectors and use them at their convenience. All this explains why the infiltration continues, as admitted by the Chief of Army Staff.

In the winter, infiltration has always been less due to snow in the mountains. In the summer, this would increase depending upon Pakistan’s intentions. Power shortage in Jammu and Kashmir, especially in the border areas, may require electrification of the fence and powering of other sensors by generators. Consider the logistics for this including maintenance costs.

We will have to develop superior offensive capability rather than fritter away our resources on defensive measures. When we are about 10 times superior to Pakistan in terms of resources, why should we be defensive?

Brig HARWANT SINGH (retd), Mohali

The mess in Bihar

In his article, “Kislay Kaushik’s cry: Who will pull Bihar out of the mess” (Feb 2), H.K. Dua has examined the worsening law and order situation in Bihar and the factors responsible for it. The increasing incidence of kidnapping, extortion, murder, casteism and criminalisation in Bihar are indeed sad.

Though law and order is a state subject, one should not blame only Mr Laloo Prasad Yadav or Mrs Rabri Devi. All the political parties and national leaders, who support them, are equally responsible. If the state government fails to maintain law and order, the Centre should not remain a silent spectator. It should step in to restore order.

The Centre should take measures to break the so-called politico-criminal- bureaucratic nexus and explore alternatives to provide relief and protection to the “Basket-case” people so that they are no longer treated as fodder for vote and power.





Bihar has become a scourge today. So many remedies have been considered, but none seems to be workable. Bihar needs to be given a Presidential warning period of two years to correct its course in respect of multifarious ills afflicting the state and spreading like virus. If no improvement is visible, the state should be handed over to the Army for a period of five years to eliminate the evils. All kinds of ill-gotten wealth must be confiscated. Bihar may change for the better and become a frontline state. The Army rule should be notified along with the Presidential warning.

KULDEEP SINGH, AVSM (retd), Mohali


The people of Bihar must rise to the occasion. It is time there was a change in the regime. In the last 15 years, Bihar has retrograded in every aspect of life — be it education, industrialisation, or law and order. While the Election Commission has to hold free and fair elections, the onus is on the people of Bihar to grab this opportunity and bring the right party to power so that the state can march forward. Over to the people.

ASEEM SHARMA, Final Year (Elec. Engg), Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh

Why demand draft?

The Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) held draw of lots on Dec 31, 2004 for allotment of flats in Sector 51. Unsuccessful applicants have been asked to collect their original demand drafts for Rs 2 lakh each, submitted by them with their respective applications some months back.

Every applicant paid hundreds to the bank towards commission for getting a demand draft prepared. He has to spend money again on formalities for cancellation and refund of money. Crores of rupees remained blocked with the banks for months together without any interest. This is too harsh on the hapless public!

In future, various housing boards, housing and urban development authorities should be directed to ask for only a bank guarantee towards the earnest money deposit and not a demand draft from an application for allotment of a flat, house, shop or plot.


Deplorable attitude

Apropos of Kuldeep Chauhan’s report on the regional rural banks, I share his concern over the poor services. Why are they shying away from providing draft and pension facilities to the customers?

Why are NABARD and the priority sector and lead bank division of the Punjab National Bank in New Delhi not according approval?

It is an irony that NABARD, which came into existence for rural development, does not have concern for rural farmers. The authorities must ensure that the rural and poor farmers are extended all possible help.

S. SINGHA, Shimla

Elders deserve sops

While presenting the ensuing Union Budget for 2005-06, Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram should not ignore the interests of the senior citizens. For those retired from respectable but non-pensionary posts, there should be no income tax, no property tax, free medical aid in private or recognised hospitals (besides government hospitals) in every city, for which they should have free medical insurance.

They should also have subsidised stores like Army Canteens or Civilian Officers’ shops, of pre-Partition (I do not call it pre-Independence for obvious reasons) and any other welfare measures in the Budget.



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